The Secretary of State to the Secretary of War (Dern)

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I have for acknowledgment your letter of April 10, 1934, quoting the radiogram sent at the suggestion of the [Page 382] Department of State to the Governor of the Panama Canal by the Washington Office of the Canal on the 7th instant regarding the Peruvian transport Rimac, and the text of the radio reply received from the Governor dated the 9th instant.

The message sent to the Governor at the suggestion of this Department stated as follows:

“The Department of State considers that developments between Perú and Colombia make it advisable to follow strictly the policy set out in State Department’s letter to the War Department of January 20, 1933, namely, that no facilities of any nature of this Government should be placed at the disposal of either the Government of Colombia or the Government of Perú which would assist them in their preparations for possible hostilities.”

I desire to confirm this statement of policy which will of course apply to the visit of the Bolognesi and the two destroyers to the Canal. In declining the request to re-boiler and overhaul these vessels it is suggested that explanation might be made by the Canal authorities to the Peruvian representatives that the concentration of the fleet near the Canal makes it impossible to grant such facilities, rather than to base the refusal on any general statement of policy.

In view of the present acute state of relations between Colombia and Perú I submit for your consideration the advisability of having any request for facilities made by representatives of either Government to the Canal authorities transmitted for your decision before any action is taken thereon by the Canal authorities.

Sincerely yours,

Cordell Hull